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Night Hunting .300 Whisper

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/03/2010 at 05:34
penguin6 View Drop Down
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I've read the previous posts about scopes for night hunting and have some specific questions as they relate to a .300 Whisper.  95% of the time the rifle will be used suppressed with subsonic loads for hogs at night, max distance 200 yds.  I don't know if a ballistic reticle is better than dialing turrets or if it's a matter of preference.  I'm looking for a scope that I could trust my life to if necessary, and I'm willing to pay up to $4000.  I want to be able to see well enough to place a bullet in a 3-inch zone in darkness at 200 yds.  The downrange area will be lit with a small red feeder light.  An illuminated reticle is a requirement, but it must function without fail, as if a life depended on it (the necessity to change batteries will not be considered a failure), and the illuminated aiming point or reticle must be dim enough not to wash out the target in almost complete darkness.  I'd prefer a Trijicon, but people don't seem to like the 5-20x50.  Rancid Coolaid, I see you sold your Trijicon, and have kept the IOR on your .300 Whisper.  Please comment on your experiences with both if you have time.  The Zeiss Z reticles, the Kahles multizero, the March tacticals, the IOR 3-18, and the Swarovskis are all ones I'm looking at, but I have no first-hand experience with any of them.  What I have now are Bushnell Elites and Trijicons, but I'm told these other scopes are in a much higher class.  Whether that superiority is noticeable or necessary for my purposes I don't know.  Any help will be greatly appreciated. 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/03/2010 at 14:16
Rancid Coolaid View Drop Down
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The Whisper is allot of fun, be ready for every know-it-all and idiot on the public range to tell you it is illegal or the suppressor is illegal.  Just FYI.
My Trijicon 5-20 was on an AR10, I like the scope, but it isn't ideal for 100-200 yard shots.  At a lowest power of 5X, it is too much magnification for anything but a bench gun, in my opinion.  (That said, it was bought buy a friend who promptly put it on his AR10.  So opinions vary.)

The primary consideration for a Whisper is either turrets or reticle, where to dope the shot.  From my Whisper (16" barrel, about 1000FPS), drop from a 100 yard zero to a 200 yard shot is 4.2 mils.  Given how fast these opportunities, I opted for an FFP optic where I could dope quickly on the turret or more quickly on the reticle - and at all power settings.

If you have a Whisper, the optic on top needs to be FFP, and you need to know the drop very, very well.

In my opinion, the perfect optic is a USO 1.8-10X (and now you can buy them here!)  A scope second is the IOR 2.5-10X - which is what I run now.  Multizeros will do most of what you want, but you really need the capacity to dope the shot quickly on the reticle, and that means  rmil-scale or MOA-scale FFP reticle.

With pigs, as you probably know, the hog might be 25 yards or 200 yards, be ready for both.

The Trijicon 5-20 has cross hairs that are a little too large for my liking, and the field of view is too narrow for me.  It is a great night optic, no question, but has draw-backs for a pig gun.
The IOR 2.5-10 is great, it has enough magnification to take a well placed 200 yard shot but little enough to take a quick 25 yard shot if needed.  The new illumination system is far superior to the old, and is actually among my favorites now (just the dot illuminates, rather than the whole reticle, which is quite nice.)

Another option to consider, given your budget, is the Premier 3-15 with Gen2 XR, it is a kinda busy reticle, but great for hold-overs and wind corrections. It is heavy and expensive, but a great scope.

I have just sold the Whisper and am in the process of building an SBR Whisper, not yet sure what optic it will wear.

My picks for your gun (assuming a bolt action and at least 8 pounds in weight):
Premier 3-15
IOR 2.5-10X (the 3-18 is a nice optic, but not needed on that gun and too big for the gun.)
Hensoldt 3-12
Vortex Razor 1-4X

Can't recommend March, no first-hand experience (and it has a 5 year warranty.)

Or, wait till the 1-4X SS comes out. It is due in Q1 of next year and would be great on a Whisper.  It is only 4X but the glass is fantastic, it is FFP, and the illumination should be great for a pig gun.  When they come out, my SBR Whisper will probably wear a 1-4X SS most of the time - if not all the time.

Sorry it is long, hope it helps.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/03/2010 at 23:24
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Very helpful.  Not a bolt, a Contender, but I'm not worried about matching things aesthetically.  It will be purpose-driven, and if it's ugly, so be it.  Size or weight of the scope is not a huge consideration, only that it do what I need it to do.  Questions:

1)  If only the center dot of your IOR is illuminated, how are you using the reticle for holdover in darkness?
2)  If you're zeroed at 100 yds, do you use reticle or turrets for distances under 100 yds, or simply memorize trajectory up to that point and use reticle/turrets for distances greater than 100 yds?
3)  You mentioned crosshair thickness on the Trijicon.  Is it similar to the 4200 2.5-10 with 4A reticle?  Do the reticle thickness and dot size preclude seeing/hitting a 3-inch target at 200 yds on full magnification?
4)  I see a large portion of the reticle is lit on the Premier scope.  Do you have any experience with this reticle at night or know if it washes out the target?
5)  4x is not enough for me to precisely place a shot at 200 yds.  Do you recommend the higher magification Razors  as well?
6)  You mentioned the Laser Gentics lights in other posts.  Which model do you recommend?  What has your experience been with them when the temperature drops?
7)  I'd like to hear about your hog kills with the Whisper, e.g., where the shots were placed, depth of penetration, size of animal, size of exit wounds, behavior of bullets when bone is hit, etc.  I'd planned on only taking head/neck shots with this caliber;  is that your recommendation?
 
 
I'd love to hear any of your other thoughts and insights into the .300 Whisper and into night hog hunting in general.
 
If anyone else has recommendations or food for thought, I'd appreciate that as well.
 
Thanks.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/04/2010 at 09:40
Rancid Coolaid View Drop Down
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Originally posted by penguin6 penguin6 wrote:

Very helpful.  Not a bolt, a Contender, but I'm not worried about matching things aesthetically.  It will be purpose-driven, and if it's ugly, so be it.  Size or weight of the scope is not a huge consideration, only that it do what I need it to do.  Questions:

1)  If only the center dot of your IOR is illuminated, how are you using the reticle for holdover in darkness?
2)  If you're zeroed at 100 yds, do you use reticle or turrets for distances under 100 yds, or simply memorize trajectory up to that point and use reticle/turrets for distances greater than 100 yds?
3)  You mentioned crosshair thickness on the Trijicon.  Is it similar to the 4200 2.5-10 with 4A reticle?  Do the reticle thickness and dot size preclude seeing/hitting a 3-inch target at 200 yds on full magnification?
4)  I see a large portion of the reticle is lit on the Premier scope.  Do you have any experience with this reticle at night or know if it washes out the target?
5)  4x is not enough for me to precisely place a shot at 200 yds.  Do you recommend the higher magification Razors  as well?
6)  You mentioned the Laser Gentics lights in other posts.  Which model do you recommend?  What has your experience been with them when the temperature drops?
7)  I'd like to hear about your hog kills with the Whisper, e.g., where the shots were placed, depth of penetration, size of animal, size of exit wounds, behavior of bullets when bone is hit, etc.  I'd planned on only taking head/neck shots with this caliber;  is that your recommendation?
 
 
I'd love to hear any of your other thoughts and insights into the .300 Whisper and into night hog hunting in general.
 
If anyone else has recommendations or food for thought, I'd appreciate that as well.
 
Thanks.



1.  In darkness, I usually control the shot, so I havent had to take a shot in darkness at a distance other than 100 yards.  But yet, in total darkness, you cannot use reticle drop as only the center dot is illuminated.

2.  Memorize.  Know where the bullet goes.  Whether you use the turrets or the reticle, you gotta have the real-world data for your round from your gun.  For anything other than 100, I usually use the reticle, and I have shot 25, 50, 100, 125, 150, 175, and 200, so I know those dopes.

3.  The reticle thickness would not preclude hitting a 3 inch target at 200 yards.  Why you would want 20X for a 200 yard shot, I cannot say, but they aren't "that" heavy.  I prefer thin reticles, it is preference.

4.  Premier's illumination is quite good.  At its lowest setting, it is very, very dim.  I have experience with it at night, no complaints. My reticle is the gen2 mil dot (which i prefer) and the center cross is illuminated.  As it is FFP, it can be a very fine aiming point at any magnification.

5.  The Razor options are 5-20 and 1-4.  For a hog gun, I would be far more likely to mount a very good 1-4X than I would any 5-20X.  I missed a hog recently (first one, very sad) due to too much magnification.  Given that missing by a small margin with a 300 Whisper could mean not killing the animal, I might retract the 1-4X if shots will be going out to 200 yards.  The Whisper doesn't have much left at 200 and you really need to put that round in an exact location (between eye and ear), and a 4X will make that very difficult at 200 yards.  The other option is not to take 200 yard shots.  My Whisper is restricted (self imposed) to 150 or less, wounding an animal with a 300WM or 308, he'll die soon thereafter; wounding him with a Whisper, he'll suffer for a very long time but probbaly live - I really don't see the point in that.

6.  I have an ND3 for sale (in a LaRue QD flashlight mount.)  I haven't spooked a hog with it yet, I like the light allot, easily illuminates the target at 100 yards+ without illuminating everything.  I did have issues with temp last year, but figured out a few tricks to prevent problems (rubber-band a handwarmer to it, or take the whole thing off and keep it in a pocket till needed.)  After you address the issue (which is indemic of all green lasers at this time), it works just fine.

7.  I recommend head shots, neck is tricky since the neck is big and a small miss means the animal lives.  Put the round between the eye and the ear (in the eye from a quartering toward is about perfect, lights out immediately.)  Since you do not get a quick follow-up shot, I recommend you be as precise as possible with first shot palcement.  My choice, given your setup, would be a 1.8-10X USO, it'll easily handle point-blank out to 200 yards.  The reticles are great, the illumination is whole reticle (but well done) and the EREK elevation is the best in the industry.

I have seen a 220-gr round nose go completely through a 100-pound hog, through plate and internals, and mushroom to about .45 (so open up an additional half it's original diameter.)  Sierra match Kings and Hornady Amax will not open up at subsonic speeds.  Go for a bullet with a big meplate like the 220 round nose.


In truth, I haven't killed much with the Whisper yet, just got in in Feb of this year and have only managed to get it out a few times (when shots will be short and no 400+ pounders in the area.)  My last night hog hunt was a few weeks ago, and I took a 6.8 with night vision.  Two weeks before that was the miss on a hog (my first, very sad) with a suppressed 308 (with the Trijicon 5-20) at about 25 yards.  I could'a thrown the damned rifle at the hog and killed it!  Know your dope for short, short shots!

I set up a Whisper for hunting groups of hogs at short range.  To not disturb the othes, the shot needs to be perfect, the animal needs to drop on the spot without a sound.

Eventually, you will want to go to night vision, it is really the best option for hunting multiple sites.  If you hunt one site under a red light, no need for you to buy NV.  I hunt several sites in several states, I need NV.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/05/2010 at 06:01
penguin6 View Drop Down
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Again, very helpful.

Did I understand correctly that you use your reticle rather than the center crosshair for shots under 100yds as well as for those over 100yds?

Have you found an advantage of mildot over MOA-based reticles, or is this a matter of preference?

I'm interested in the ND3 you have for sale.  Please txt/call 281-413-5814 or email billbeam6@hotmail.com if it's still available.  I work nights, but I'll get back to you when I'm awake.  Please let me know if returning a txt or voicemail at odd hours will wake you.

I may not want/need 20x for a 200yd shot, and I'm not sure what a 2.5mm exit pupil will get me at night even with a feeder light.  I suppose to get the benefit of higher magnification at longer distances at night I'd have to go with a bigger objective, and I'm not sure I want to do that if the benefit is not  clear.  What was your experience with the Trijicon at 20x at night?

Is the Vortex Razor in the same class as IOR, Premier, USO, etc.?
 
I don't reload, so I'll be using Corbon factory loads exclusively for now.  A New Zealand site reported the long SMKs tumbled quickly and left large wound tracts in game.  It doesn't sound like that was your experience. 
 
 
I'd like to hear more about your experience with and recommendations for night vision equipment.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/05/2010 at 16:48
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SMKs and Amax do tumble, but they don't expand - and depending on where they hit and how they tumble, they can go places other than where needed.

I have very little experience with the Vortex Razor scopes (and lots with IOR, Premier, and USO) so it wouldn't be fair to try to draw parallels.  I hear pretty good thigns about the 5-20 and nothing thus far about the 1-4X.

The reticle on my IOR 2.5-10 is the MP8, and yes, i dope short shots on the reticle too.  I avoid moving the primary point of focus since shots can be 25 yards and can be 100 yards and the time span between the 2 shots can be quite short.

I didn't use my 5-20 Trijicon at 20X at night, I used it at 20X in the day but didn't like it (or any other 20X.)  My guess is, in very low light, the 20X would never be used or needed on a Whisper.  If you need 20X at night with your Whisper, you are doing something very wrong (and the field of view will be so small, you'll be lucky to see the target, much less hit it.)

NV so far is the D550, it will be out hunting pigs (and coyotes and mountain lions) in 2 days, a report will follow shortly thereafter.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/12/2010 at 12:06
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An update:


The 8" AR Whisper upper is beyond cool.  It is slightly louder than its 16"-barreled Remmy700 brother, but much easier to handle and much more compact.

The D550 worked great - though I didn't take any shots with it.  I played with it at night with no moonlight, and with the IR flashlight, it was easy to identify targets to a few hundred yards out.

I am a big fan of the D550, but am convinced even more than before that it needs a red filter, it really messes up night sight in one eye for a few minutes (and that one eye is usually the dominant eye - which is bad.)
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/17/2010 at 23:25
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Unfortunate no hogs turned up.  Questions on the AR:

1)  Who made it?
2)  What size groups is it consistently capable of?
3)  How long was the wait for BATFE approval?
4)  Do you have to adjust your loads for the short barrel, or will the powder from factory loads be completely burned in that length barrel?
 
Questions on the D550:
 
1)  What's the battery life?
2)  What's the advantage of it over a monocular for scanning and then using your laserlight or flashlight with a conventional scope?
 
Haven't made a decision yet on your scope recommendations, except that the FFP seems to be the way to go.  Rereading Koshkin's recent review of the March, Premier,Vortex, and IOR offerings.  It's a lot to absorb.  The March sounded very good, except it's SFP.  If any other advice comes to mind, please send it my way.  BTW, do you have any experience with the red XLR250 light from EWT?
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